27 January 2011
Call of the Wild
Head out into the Botswana bush and discover the incredible world of animals - including man.
Game drives in Botswana's Chobe National Park are really special. You don't have to drive far to find another army of elephants creating a big grey traffic jam at a wallowing hole as they fling round a trunk-full of dirt, press giant footprints into the mud and trumpet for no apparent reason - just because they can, perhaps.
There are black-backed jackals, steenbok, cute-as-can-be bat-eared foxes, vultures, hornbills and eagles. In the wet season, massive herds of impala, tsessebe, giraffe and zebra come in to drink and graze - closely followed by predators galore, among them the endangered wild dog, cheetah and hyena. Savute's lions are truly scary by reputation as they are the only ones in Africa who regularly take down elephant.
Cathedral of TreesSavute is famous for its giant baobab trees, that soar up out of the plain. Sipping champagne among them as a red sun sinks in the sky is an unforgettable experience.
The camp's guides all come from the surrounding area, know every fold and turn of the land, and all the best spots for game viewing. In the dry season, they can also take you to see evidence left many moons ago by another species - man.
Seeing rock paintings left by the early Bushmen who once inhabited the region, too, is a highlight of a stay of Savute Elephant Camp, and definitely something special to discuss around the campfire as evening falls.
By Wendy Gomersall, who writes on travel for a wide range of UK publications
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